Right in the heart of Soho, you’ll find Kolamba serving up one of the most flavoursome and reasonably priced weekend brunches in London. The menu is full of Sri Lankan delights, from the egg hopper with kithul glazed bacon (a delicious mix of sweet and savoury) to the decadently creamy coconut rice dish called kiribath. All this can be washed down with a refreshing lime or pineapple juice – or a Sri Lankan-style cocktail if a boozy brunch is on the cards.
An intimate spot, Kolamba encapsulates the culture of Sri Lanka’s carefree, cosmopolitan capital, Colombo, while offering a cosy spot for friends and family to catch up in central London. And, with all mains costing less than £10, this is one of the most affordable quality brunch options around.
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2. Il Pampero at The Hari
This year The Hari, in Belgravia, made it onto The Week’s list of the best hotels in London. Now the brunch menu at its restaurant, Il Pampero, receives a similar honour. Smart, fresh and unashamedly Italian, the menu offers a distinctive take on those sometimes over-familiar brunch staples. Tired of the conventional benedicts and royales? How about pairing your poached eggs with mortadella, burrata and truffle oil, or with prawn cocktail, chive hollandaise sauce and caviar? French toast and maple syrup may not get the heart racing, but what if it also comes with smoked duck breast, ricotta and fresh apricot?
There are pizzas and pastas, too, for those seeking substance – and babas, tarts and gelatos for those craving sweetness. Completists will welcome the chance to pick three courses and pair them with bottomless prosecco, bellinis or mimosas for £70.
3. Shanghai Brunch at Park Chinois
It’s hard to say precisely what makes Park Chinois’ Shanghai Brunch a brunch, per se, as it kicks off at 12pm and there’s not a single egg in sight. Nevertheless, it’s a fun and certainly unforgettable way to while away a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon thanks to its unique combination of Chinese food, top-quality booze and eclectic live performances, including aerial choreography, burlesque acts and even a haunting interpretive dance to a remastered Mary Poppins track.
Served downstairs in the velvet-clad Club Chinois, this brunch is no doubt an opulent affair. It begins with a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne and proceeds with a three-course menu of mouthwatering delights from wagyu beef gyoza to grilled black cod in scallion sauce. Dessert is a generous sharing platter of seasonal sweet treats selected by the chef.
4. The Perception Bar at W London
Sleek and spacious, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Chinatown, the W London hotel’s Perception Bar is a spot to see and be seen in. The extra-indulgent Weekenders Brunch, described as an “exclusive dining experience with a festive twist”, is a two-course offering from £34 per person (or £44 with a glass of the house Belvedere Brunch Spritz).
The menu is varied, with options for vegetarians and vegans as well as tasty meat feasts like the spiced chicken bowl with bulgur wheat. The dishes change regularly, but the current dessert on offer is a timely red velvet chocolate bauble filled with a vegan brownie and vanilla “nice cream”.
5. Duck & Waffle
No list of Britain’s best brunch sports would be complete without Duck & Waffle. Located on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower right in the heart of the City of London, the restaurant is the highest in the capital and boasts some of the best dining views on the planet.
Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the restaurant attracts a variety of diners, from city-types to foodies and visiting tourists, with different menus for different times of the day (though an all day menu is also available). The 6am-4.30pm brunch menu includes the eponymous duck and waffle and “for a decadent start to the day it’s hard to beat”, said the London Evening Standard.
6. 45 Jermyn St
It is no good adding salmon or caviar to eggs in a bid to improve them if you haven’t got the eggs right in the first place. Fortunately, that essential building block of the very best breakfasts is done perfectly at 45 Jermyn St.
And that isn’t the only basic the swish St James’s establishment does well. Coffee, juice, avocados and toast may all sound simple enough, but in the hands of the chefs at 45 Jermyn St, they are all elevated into something superior. The eggs, scrambled and mixed with cream, are quite possibly the most indulgent in London. And with a dollop of caviar or a side of salmon, they are pure brunching perfection.
Brunch at Quaglino’s can be a disconcerting affair. The food, the wine, the dramatic lighting – and your fellow diners, dressed to impressed – lull you into a late-night frame of mind, and you may well find yourself blinking in surprise as you emerge into the afternoon sunshine. The illusion starts the moment you step into the dark, cavernous restaurant and descend the illuminated stairs. Art-deco glamour oozes from every surface, from the velvet curtains of the cabaret stage to the gilded marble bar.
The menu is also suitably starry. Brunch classics – eggs benedict, royale or florentine, with avocado and smoked salmon – are tucked away in one corner, leaving more space for conventional lunch and dinner options. The Q Brunch is served on Saturdays only, from 11.30am to 5pm.
8. Theo Randall at the InterContinental
Hyde Park Corner
Celebrity chef Theo Randall’s weekend brunch invites diners to enjoy “la dolce vita” in true Italian style, with a generous four-course feast showcasing the best of the country's produce. Try not to fill up too much on the help-yourself antipasti – as tempting as the platters heaped with vibrant salads, cured meats and specials such as carne salata (thinly sliced Black Angus beef with shaved courgettes, rocket and Parmesan) – as to follow is Theo's signature vegetable ravioli and your choice of secondi.
Those with a sweet tooth will want to hold out for the desserts – a highlight of which is Randall’s palate-cleansing Amalfi lemon tart. The brunch is available for £59 on Saturdays, and for £69 with unlimited prosecco, negroni or Aperol Spritz on Sundays.
9. St Pancras Brasserie by Searcys
Sitting below St Pancras’s magnificent vaulted ceiling, with an art deco design by Martin Brudnizki, St Pancras Brasserie by Searcys feels like a throwback to the golden age of travel. As well as offering Europe’s longest champagne bar and the fizz to go with it, Searcys has a substantial brunch menu with protein-packed eggs the star of the show.
The breakfast menu is available from 8am Monday-Saturday and between 9am to 4pm on Sundays, which is when a bottomless brunch offer is available. Starting from £45, visitors can enjoy a dish from the “bakery and bowls” section of the menu, eggs or pancakes, and unlimited bubbles.
10. Yauatcha City
On Saturdays from 12pm-5pm, this high-end Chinese restaurant offers one of the capital’s most sophisticated brunches. After a “welcome cocktail”, which could be a potent martini or equally punchy negroni, the feast commences.
A platter of delicious dim sum (featuring crumbly and rich venison puffs, edamame and truffle dumplings, and scallop shui mai) is followed by one of four mains – perhaps stir-fry rib eye beef or truffle lemon chicken – then rounded off with one of the restaurant’s signature desserts. All this (and half a bottle of Moët & Chandon) is available for £68.
When the Bombay cafe chain Dishoom started offering brunch, little did the guests know what they were in for. Bacon and eggs may be brunch stalwarts; naans, less so. But this combination, in tandem with some killer chilli tomato jam and cream cheese, makes a meal to die for.
Dishoom also does Bombay omelettes, chicken keema and akuri, a traditional Iranian café staple featuring spicy scrambled eggs and grilled tomato. The chain has acquired a cult following over the past few years, and for good reason.
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